Mindfulness and The Power of Living in the Present with DBT Professional Alicia Paz

August 2, 2021
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In today’s episode, we have Alicia Paz with us and she is going to talk about how you can focus on the here and now when things aren’t going as planned.

You will also get to hear how DBT can help those who struggle with mental health, why being in the present will help bring clarity into your life, and the importance of staying centered so that you can give your best self to the rest of the world.

Website: onlinedbtcourses.com
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Pinterest: onlinecopingskills
SoundCloud: online-coping-skills

Notes

In this episode, you will hear...

… Alicia’s journey into becoming a DBT therapist, and how she became successful in her online course business.

… how you can focus on the here and now when things aren’t going as planned.

… what DBT is, how it works, and how it can help those who struggle with mental health.

… why being in the present will help bring clarity into your life as an online course creator.

… how asking for feedback from her audience transformed Alicia’s online business.

… why it’s so important to stay centered so that you can give your best self to the rest of the world. 

… Alicia’s practical tips and strategies to becoming recentered and realigned. 

… how to balance parenting, being an entrepreneur, and working a full-time job.

… why negative self-talk is harmful to yourself and practical ways to avoid negative self-talk.

… Alicia’s view on “hustle culture” and how she avoids burnout in her personal and business life.

Resources

Transcript

Jeremy Deighan
Hey, everyone. Thank you for checking out the podcast today. We have Alicia Paz from Online DBT Skills, who has created courses around mental health coping skills, which I think is so important in this day and age that we are looking at mental health of everyone out there as everyone is home more and just really struggling through a lot of things.

And I think that this will be a good episode to hear about. And I'm excited to hear your story and your journey. So how are you doing today?

Alicia Paz
Good. Thanks for having me on, Jeremy.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, for sure. I'm glad you reached out to me and came on the show today to just kind of share your knowledge and your expertise, and your journey. And I always like to start at the beginning of that journey.

And so if you could just take a moment, a couple of minutes to let people know what you were doing before you kind of got into online courses or online business. And then how did you transition into courses? How did you find out about them? And what was that journey like?

Alicia Paz
Yeah, thanks. So I have been teaching DBT, which stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, online for eight years. I have a master's degree in counseling psychology with a focus on addiction studies.

I was actually working as an addiction counselor in a women's prison in Michigan. It was a pretty stressful job. And at the time, I was pregnant with my first child. I was actually driving home past a cornfield one day and realized that I wasn't really finding joy in my job. I felt like, as a therapist, we kind of burn out pretty quick and pretty easily, maybe a little bit.

And on the ride home, I realized like I really didn't want to do this forever. I really didn't find passion in what I did. I wasn't excited about working. I was trying to think of times in my career that I felt passionate, that I felt the drive, and excited about things. And in my 10 minute drive, I realized that when I taught DBT in a clinic was kind of the happiest time in my career and in my life as a whole.

And immediately thought about well, there's not a clinic or a place for me to work here, anywhere near this cornfield for me to be able to do this, and immediately went home. I had a Twitter account with very little in the way of followers. More personal than business at the time. And sent a tweet out that said, "Would anyone be interested in online DBT class?"

I went to bed that night, and I woke up with 50 responses, tons of messages. And people were very interested in this being a service and immediately kind of went from there. I was still working a full-time job. I'm still working a full-time job eight years later. It's really hard to give up that, to be honest with you. I did, at some point, quit my job to do DBT and was able to stay home while pregnant with my newborn.

Things took off pretty quickly, which was nice and also surprising. And I'll also add not the norm for online instructors. And that was little more than eight years ago. I now have a seven-year-old and a five-year-old. And kind of transitioned from client-based face-to-face work to online courses and doing online live webinars and groups.

It's been really great. I really enjoy doing so. I self-host as well as use Udemy as a platform mostly to drive organic traffic at this point. I took a break between kids and other things going on for a few years and then kind of got back to it about three years ago.

And things kind of took off in 2020. Regarding mental health, there was a bunch of celebrities who talked about DBT a few years ago, and things kind of took off and kind of exploded. It's also given me the opportunity to buy another DBT business, do a little bit of traveling, hire an assistant and make things more accessible to be able to kind of reach a broader audience than I would kind of on my own.

I got a book deal out of being on Udemy and kind of getting a name for myself in the online teaching community.

Jeremy Deighan
Okay. Wow, yeah, that's cool. There's a lot to go over there. And I want to definitely get into your business and even the industry. But the first thing that I heard you say that was really cool is that you sent out that tweet asking if people would be interested first.

And I feel like this is where a lot of people kind of make a mistake where they think that they know what they want to create. And they'll go out, and they'll spend six months making a course on the subject, only to find out that it's something people weren't even interested in. So I think you made the first right step and really asking people if it's something they'd want.

Alicia Paz
Yes. And I asked a lot. I had a small group set-up at the time, too. And I still asked for constant feedback. And yeah, kind of was like, "Am I going to spend hundreds of hours spinning my wheels, working full time and pregnant to find out that this is a total bust?"

So I don't know if market research is the kind of correct term here. But I definitely did ask people and got feedback from enrolled students really quickly, got lots of lots of feedback, lots of guidance directly from students about what they did want, what they didn't want, the style they wanted, and really took it from there.

And, you know, followed and changed and still do based on feedback, probably 100%, if not close to changes. Filming, audio, style, words on screen, editing software, it's really almost all based off of student feedback at this point.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, that's genius. A lot of people, even myself included, when I started in the industry, I wasn't asking people these questions. And it was a major hindrance. I mean, I've spent many hours on courses that I thought were going to be, you know, great courses.

Many months and points where my wife probably wanted to kill me. And those courses ended up not doing anything because I hadn't taken that time to go through the process that you've done, which is really asking people, you know, "What would you like in here? And what would you like to see?" So that's awesome.

So before we go forward, myself included, but anyone listening right now, can you just give us an explanation of what DBT is? What does it involve? And how does that work?

Alicia Paz
Yeah. So, DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. It's a combination of CBT, and I'll explain it a little bit deeper than this, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Zen Buddhism. So it's focused on coping skills.

So as an example, talk therapy definitely has its benefits. And it's focused on kind of things that happened in the past, maybe patterns that have gone on, and kind of delving into past situations, settings, issues, traumas.

And DBT has really focused on the here and now. So as an example, if you're struggling with staying focused on things, if you're struggling with finding yourself really emotional or having troubles in your relationship because your communication style just isn't effective or working for you.

DBT is essentially a workbook full of skills focused on like the here and now. A lot of it is mindfulness-based, and its skills to like get you through the difficult work that you're having. The argument you're having with a partner, the challenges you might be having, going to sleep, or in your personal life. And it's very specific skills.

It was created in the 80s for people who have a borderline personality disorder, but it's kind of open to everyone now. There's certainly no diagnosis needed in what I do and teach in my groups, either. And it's very much focused on kind of being present. And, you know, dealing with how past events and other things might be affecting you today in this moment in order to live a better life, and DBT puts it a life worth living.

Jeremy Deighan
Okay, awesome. Yeah, that's a great explanation. Thank you for that. What would be some examples? If someone came to you, they were having trouble, you know, past experiences or emotional trauma.

What would be some of the examples of methods that you would use to help that person?

Alicia Paz
Yeah, that's a great question. I'll try to keep it brief, because that could be hours, and in fact, it is a 20-hour course. So yeah, I guess like the quick example that I can give is, there is a DBT skill, it's usually the first skill, it's called wise mind.

The visual on it is a Venn Diagram. So the two circles that overlap. And the idea is that at any given point in someone's day, they're experiencing one of two minds, that they're either in emotional mind.

So, focusing on feelings, thoughts, emotions, potentially past events. And the other side of things is kind of a more rational analytical mind. So maybe focusing on math or science or problem-solving. Like for you right now, maybe focusing on, you know, technology or equipment or you know, a to-do item task at hand.

And if somebody is having some issues, the idea is to kind of think about where they are. Are they emotional? Are they rational? And that sort of Venn Diagram, middle sweet spot, is called wise mind. In short, it's kind of where best decision-making is. It's where you're most effective.

If you are highly emotional and you're trying to ask for a raise at work, maybe not necessarily the best way of going about doing this. And whether it's using a different DBT skill, or being kind of mindful, or just aware, like, I'm really emotional right now. I need to take a break. Today isn't the day to talk to my boss.

Or the other way around, and it's really hard for me to be emotionally present with my partner because I'm focusing on editing or I'm focusing on doing my taxes and being able to work more into getting into that sweet spot and making decisions and being more present in the here and now and more present in the middle of wise mind, as opposed to being effective emotionally or rational and not being effective rationally.

I meet with people and talk about where they are, doing check-ins throughout the day. And also like, what would it look like for you to be in a calmer place? What would it look like for you to be more emotionally present? And focusing on kind of getting closer to that middle spot.

So that's a real brief overview of a DBT skill. That one was wise mind. If anyone wanted to Google it, it's called wise mind. You'll see it everywhere. It's probably the most common DBT skill as well.

Jeremy Deighan
That is awesome. That makes a lot of sense. So it seems like it's a lot of looking inward at oneself and trying to find that balance. And I'm a very analytical person. And so, it's hard for me to relate to the kids and to my wife on an emotional level.

It's sometimes to a bad degree where, you know, she's like, "Don't you have any emotions at all?" I'm like, "No, I just try to solve problems. That's why I was put here on this earth."

Alicia Paz
Sounds familiar. Yeah.

Jeremy Deighan
So like someone like me, like, say that I was struggling with that. I'm stressed out because of like you said, I'm editing podcasts all day today, eight hours straight. And then when I get off here, and I go talk to my wife, and she wants to connect on that emotional level, and my mind's not there. Because I'm thinking about now, I got to edit and transcribe and all these things.

What are some tactics or strategies that you would offer to someone to help recenter them and realign them?

Alicia Paz
Yeah, that's a great question. I will also say that I mostly work with people who are more emotional, although lately, I must admit, I've been working with more men who are struggling more with kind of the rational, analytical piece of things. So some quick, I guess, skills and ideas would be kind of being really present. DBT calls it the "WHAT" skills.

So being one mindfully, I'm gonna drop the lingo, but not kind of dive too deep into explaining it, being kind of really present. If you're, you know, with your partner, your kids kind of giving some level of separation.

Like not being on your phone, or, you know, kind of focusing mentally on the task at hand, whether that's, you know, playing with your kids, or chatting with your wife or being more present with family as opposed to thinking of like, you know, editing or things that you need to do or thinking, "Ooh, you know, did I update my calendar for this? Do I need to send this follow-up email?" Or what that might look like for you.

So say, focusing on being really present, and focusing on being like, open to conversation. So there's a few DBT skills that are focused on being like looking open, like not crossing your arms, having a more like open stance. There's a skill called half-smile, which is the idea that you have this like Mona Lisa smile, that's like, barely-there—turned corner smile. And the idea is that it kind of tricks your brain into being, you know, happier.

It's like, "Ooh, we're enjoying this experience." Not that you're not enjoying time with your family, but maybe you're, you know, stressed out or focused on business things as opposed to being kind of present. Might be kind of a good place to be is like giving a more open posture around family. You know, giving yourself space between work and family and you know, kind of doing some like check-in with yourself about like values.

Like, "Right now it's dinner time I'm valuing, you know, sitting around the table and eating dinner. This is something that's, you know, really important to me other things are also important. But in this moment, right now, at 5:30, I'm eating lasagna. I'm thinking my wife for cooking such a delicious meal. I helped make the salad. I'm like being kind of fully present in this moment." And DBT focuses a lot about kind of like being more present.

And the last thing kind of has to be talked about was my, to kind of tie it back a little bit into that, is kind of what would it take. I'll use you as an example since you put yourself out there. What would it take for you to be more emotional, so maybe that's like, watching an emotional, you know, TV show, or video, maybe that's like sharing something that brings you some level of like being more emotional.

Maybe it's like a poem or thinking about a loved one or thinking about a situation or someone who has passed, that kind of brings about some emotions in you before you sit down with your wife, and she wants to talk about something serious or have like an emotional discussion, in some ways, I guess kind of force yourself maybe to be able to open up,

Maybe there's a specific item in your life that like is a hand-me-down from your grandfather in his time in the service, and it makes you kind of gives you some warm, fuzzy feelings. And the idea is to kind of move yourself along towards that middle, or towards the emotional, if you need to be emotional through something and you're not maybe naturally there is often especially with partners, that might be more emotional, you're more analytical, it might be hard to kind of meet in the middle too.

And to try to gently nudge yourself towards an emotional space. So when you're having that conversation, you're able to be vulnerable and also are ready in a more emotional mindset than you were if you were like, you know, editing a video or like trying to have this conversation or discussion. So those are some real quick DBT-isms. DBT, I guess, tips on kind of moving yourself.

And then you know, I won't get into too much. But you know, doing pretty much the opposite. If you're more in an emotional space that's not being effective is to, you know, do things that might be more analytical trying to become, you know, turn off the, you know, sob story, Lifetime movie that you're watching and kind of put yourself into, you know, a more analytical mindset as well.

Jeremy Deighan
So basically, before we sit down for dinner, I can read like a love story. And then I can give her the budget, and then we can just meet on some middle ground.

Alicia Paz
Yeah, send the Excel spreadsheet. And then she can send you some, like, you know, really sappy YouTube video that's just going to like tear at every heartstring you have to remind you what life is worth, or something. Actually, not bad advice.

Jeremy Deighan
Very cool. Yeah, I liked what you said in the beginning, too, about being present in the moment. This is something that I've struggled with. And I feel like I've gotten a little better. But I still struggle with this.

I actually did a Facebook Live on this topic where I was talking about. No, I know what it was. I was being interviewed on another podcast. And we were talking about, you know, raising a family while being an entrepreneur. And I said that this is something I really struggled with was always thinking about the business and always working on the business at all hours of the day.

So like you said, while we're sitting at the dinner table, I'm on my phone. We go to a park, or we go, you know, hiking or something like that, and I'm text messaging people. It's so bad because the way that I described it in that interview was you're never in any one place. You're never giving your full attention to either one.

So when you're in your business, you're thinking about your family. When you're with your family, you're thinking about your business. And no one is really getting all of you at one time.

And I feel like that's so important, especially for entrepreneurs in general, but especially online business entrepreneurs who are in their business all day long in front of the computer. And then, like you said, they go down to dinner, and they can't pull themselves away from that. So I love that you said that. I think that's super important.

Alicia Paz
Yeah, and I struggle with that as well. Definitely better through the years. I will also admit that I have an assistant that's amazing at what she does and takes a lot of the weight off of me. And yeah, I think for years, I would also like pride myself on like, first one in the office, last one out of the office, working until midnight, you know, doing that kind of like hustle culture thing of, you know, work as hard as you can. And to the point of, you know, your own detriment too.

And I was like, "Okay, I'm teaching mindfulness while I can't. I'm turning down invitations to go out to brunch with my friends or to, you know, hang out on the floor and play Legos with my kids because there's one more thing to do. There's one more email to send. What if my phone rings?" You know, there can't be a to-do-list. I need to work until this is profitable or until I burn out.

And luckily, kind of, the business hit the financial point too to be able to hire someone, obviously. It's not, especially starting out not the norm, and is only like a recent thing for like the last eight months, as well. But yeah, I mean, I think doing it all yourself, also, it's hard to have the boundaries of time and space.

And it's definitely a more recent thing for me to be able to be like, "Okay, I'm turning my phone upside down, and I'm leaving it in the other room." Nothing I do is crisis-related. Nothing I do is urgent. There's no reason that anyone needs an immediate response for me. Everything that I do can at least wait till the next morning, if not longer.

Jeremy Deighan
I want to just talk about the family aspect for a moment. I know there's a lot of single people, or you know, couples who might not be married or have kids listening to the podcast. But I do want to focus on the family aspect for just a moment because me and you had kind of the same trajectory.

So when I started my online business, the first year in business, my son was one, and he's ten now, and my daughter's eight. And at the time, my wife was working a full-time job in the hospital 10 to 12 hours a day. I was home trying to run the business and raise the kids, which is so stressful.

So thinking about back to that time that you were going through that. And anyone who's listening, particularly right now, who is going through that themselves, what is some advice that you could give to that person knowing what you know now?

Alicia Paz
I would say, I mean, this might be really common sense. But like don't burn yourself out. I often think of that, like airplane oxygen analogy of like putting your mask on before you can help somebody else.

I restarted the business a few years ago after taking some time off. I'm pretty open about things. I was divorced and a single mom. I was working a full-time job and then also was working at a crisis center, part-time while getting the business off the ground with the hopes that if I got the business off the ground, I could quit the crisis center.

Spoiler, I did quit the crisis center, luckily, which was, you know, that job definitely was a challenge mentally, physically, and mentally, I guess I could say as well. And yeah, I think I tried. I'm not saying I succeeded necessarily early on, but trying to kind of balance. Like if I didn't have the kids, I co-parent.

So the times I don't have the kids, even now, I work a lot more on the "off weeks" that I don't have the kids. I work a lot more than when I do have the kids. I try to be more present.

Once again, I certainly wouldn't say 100% there. But definitely focusing on like taking care of myself. Focusing on like self-care, focusing on my own being in therapy myself and going regularly to kind of make sure that I'm doing okay, that I'm checking in, that I'm sleeping well, that I'm not, you know, relying on coffee to get through, or you know, popping a sleeping pill because it's been two days and I've slept three hours a night because I'm working till two o'clock in the morning. Which is something I've honestly struggled with in the past is sleep, and you know.

I think, you know, prioritizing yourself kids or no kids, too. But prioritizing yourself so that when you are with your children, family, other obligations you have, taking care of your parents or whatnot, that you're also able to like give that your all.

That you're able to, like be fully present at your grandma's birthday party, that you're able to enjoy a hike without checking to see if you have a Wi-Fi signal or somebody responded to your Instagram message or how many likes you had or responses you received from something. And just really kind of, I guess, taking a step back.

The other thing I'll say about balance. I used to sit and refresh my pages a lot like income-wise, student-wise, how many hits does this thing have, and it was not healthy, to say the least. And you know, like tracking every dollar was also not, it didn't help, it didn't change the outcome.

Like if someone's going to sign up, they're going to sign up whether I refresh the page or not. And being able to like take a longer-term look that as opposed to like throughout the day checking, like once a day checking, every week checking. And not feeling the need to kind of micromanage myself has also helped to not overthink every teeny, teeny, teeny little detail without making the decision or spend a lot of time on the real nitty-gritty aspects of things that really, in the grand scheme, are not necessary.

And the students don't know. The students don't know that I had spent, you know, 50 hours researching Lapel mics and took eight months to buy one. Like, that's all me and not them. Yeah, I guess, in short, balance is, is key. And I will speak for myself in saying that's like, my 2021 word—such a therapy thing to say.

Therapist thing to say is I have a word of the year. And 2021 is definitely the year of balance of realizing I can't do it all and doing what I can do and accepting that if things don't get done, or don't get done the way in my head, I thought they would get done or the outcome isn't what I expected and dreamed and hoped that things continue on. And there isn't like a right or wrong, bad or good to that either.

Jeremy Deighan
Awesome. That's cool. I love the balance. I feel like it's important. And it's hard to maintain that balance. But I feel like if it's in the forefront of your mind, at least you're actively working towards it.

Now, in the beginning, you said that there's a little bit of a mix of Zen Buddhism, and forgive me if I'm speaking out of place because I don't know a whole lot about it. But do you use any type of techniques involving physical things like breathing exercises, meditation, or anything like that?

Alicia Paz
All of the above. Exactly that. Yeah. So yeah, the aspect, the mindfulness aspect, is exactly that. It's like meditation, mindfulness, being present, not being judgmental of others, as well as like yourself. You know, whether it's the balanced thing or just like your day-to-day, that kind of negative self-talk that's really challenging for most of us, I would argue.

There are four parts to DBT. And one of them is just focused on mindfulness. And it's a whole lengthy multi-week, focus on just being present and aware of like your body, where your mind is going. And you know, being effective and focusing on one thing at a time through, breath work through.

There's some physical stuff, I wouldn't quite say like yoga, but being able to, like just dig your heels in and be focused on like, the here and now, the conversation you're having, you know, the playing with Legos with your kids, like, you know, whatever it might be just being like, fully present in what you do is kind of like, the very first step in all the DBT skills.

Jeremy Deighan
That's cool. Yeah, I like this a lot. This is a really cool subject. And I know that what you're doing is really gonna help some people out because this is really trying times, you know. People have lost their jobs. They don't know where they're going to get rent or food on the table. And it's really important to talk about these things and discuss them.

So if someone's going down that path of that negative talk, you know, "I'm failing, things aren't working out for me, why can't I be successful?" What's some advice that you could give that person to help get them back on track?

Alicia Paz
Yeah, I think part of it kind of tying back into like wise mind. It's just like, realizing where you are that like, that is an emotional mindset. And kind of doing like a check-in of like, "Is this effective?" is like a big DBT term. So it's like doing what is needed in the moment.

Doubting yourself or name-calling, or sort of absolutes, like, "I'm never going to be successful. I'm never going to get enough students. I'm never going to make this financially, you know, something, I can do long term. I'm never going to quit my full-time job," whatever that might look like, whatever your goals might be.

You know, kind of focusing on I guess the balance piece of all of this is like, is this effective? Is calling yourself a name or saying "I'm never gonna get there" helping you get there? Is that going to help you gain another student or create another, you know, piece of content or Instagram follow or whatever your goals might be, which might seem very kind of analytical in a way.

And I think just, you know, focusing on what you can do in this moment. And this was hard for me to like, you only have so much control over students who sign up or the review that you got that you're like, "Oh, no, that is like not accurate," or like "That isn't true" or like "that wasn't what I was trying to say and people got messed up" or "this isn't what I want is a review."

And kind of like focusing. I would also say on like what you're capable of doing like you're capable of re-recording because the audio quality isn't good. You're not like creating course content isn't to get everybody to like me. It's just not going to happen. And I only have so much control over what the outcome is. I can create what I want to create and put it out there.

It's like, you know if you made a piece of jewelry and put it on Etsy, and it took you time and effort and energy and like your heart and your soul, and you're so amazingly talented at it. If nobody purchases, it doesn't mean that you still are a jeweler, or an artist or creative type, you know—kind of working on that, like mindset balance. And, you know, DBT talks a lot about, like, what your values are.

Like, if your values are focused on a financial number, I'm not going to say that is not reasonable. We need to live and eat. And right now, that's, you know, challenging for many people. And also focusing on the value of what might be family, on the value of enjoying nature, and going on a weekly hike, because that's something that you enjoy a value of enjoying good food or travel.

Or being at peace with yourself, sleeping for eight hours a day, and focusing on kind of like, your day-to-day and kind of big goals that you have beyond you know, numbers are something that I think is really helpful, especially in kind of that startup phase.

Maybe it's like things are settled a little bit. But you know, you're always gearing up, there's never really like, I don't think there's ever a point for anyone who creates any content, merchandise, anything, where you just like sit back while you're just like, "Whew. All done" and just walk away from it. I mean, there's no passive income here. Spoiler, no passive income in course creation.

Jeremy Deighan
It can be hard because typically, and I would say this is probably 95% to 99% of the people out there aren't going to see success right away, it's going to take time, it's going to take deliberate action over and over again. And you understand that. You understand that you got to keep going and keep going.

But it comes to a point where you just burn yourself out where you just are, you know, so engulfed in the processes. And like you said, I'm the worst at looking up equipment because I come from a video production background. There's nothing more than to look at all the microphones and all the Lapel mics and all the video cameras and compare them and read all the reviews.

And like you said, it can be a major disservice. Because at that point, I'm no longer helping people. I'm so engulfed in looking at Tech that really what doesn't matter in the long run as long as I'm providing good value.

So when you get in that rut, and when you're really just kind of stuck, what's the best thing to do? Do you think it's just a step away and take a break? Do you think that that's more impactful than to just keep going at it?

You mentioned the hustle culture earlier. I mean, that's been promoted a lot. And I see what they're saying. Yeah, you gotta hustle because the people who rest too long aren't going to make it. But there's also got to be some kind of balance where if you're just hustling 24/7, you're just gonna burn yourself into the ground.

Alicia Paz
Yeah, totally. And yeah, I guess hustle culture might be like, the bane of my existence. Because I feel like I mean, I see it in the like, self-help, you know, wellness thing. And I always joke around that I need to create, like my own title, which is like the unproductivity coach.

Because when I work with people one-on-one, I'm constantly just like, telling them like, "Take your breaks at work, like walk your dog. It's 85 degrees outside. Go on a walk." And people are like, "I can't. I've got all this stuff to do. You know, what am I supposed to do? If I do this, I can't take a break. You know, I need to, there's still laundry, there's still a dirty dish in my sink." And I'm always telling them like be less productive.

Because I think we're so focused on like productivity and like output, more so than like, it sounds cheesy, but like nurturing ourselves and like feeding our soul or however you want to word it. And yeah, I would say my advice would be to, like, take a break. And taking a break doesn't mean that you just like shut it down and walk away and return six months later. Not that that can't be, if you need that break, I took few years off.

If you need that break, take that break too. You can, you know, pick up where you left off. It definitely is a lot different, a new challenge for sure to do that. And at the same time, like taking a break from refreshing your page to see if you have a new student today. Or taking a break from, you know, editing and literally taking your breaks like stopping.

I do the I think it's called Pomodoro Method of work. I also am an extroverted, outgoing, chatty, as you can tell, social person. It's the therapist in me. It's the New Yorker in me.

And I have joined the like co-working groups where we essentially like chat for five minutes, and it worked for 25 minutes, I believe, and then take a break in order to like get work done. And I use those spaces to like really knock out my to-do list, focus, focus, focus and then enjoy the rest of the day as I can. I know, once again, that's not what everyone is able to do or capable of doing.

But yeah, I would say like, go get some balance, like go on a walk. If you're, you know, working 60 hours a week is in some ways admirable and also in some ways not. Because that's a lot of time, that's a lot of time that could be spent over the course of two weeks, that way you can enjoy some sunshine or time with your family, or listening to some cool podcasts that you enjoy.

I think for me, sometimes taking a break is like not filming. And is like catching up and doing things like this, like writing some blog posts. Like I'm still working, but I'm not working eight hours a day towards the business. I'm, you know, dipping my toe in and sprinkling work in there and still involved. But without being all-in 24/7 long term is reasonable. And I don't think that would. I think I would burn out for me.

But once again, people definitely work different. But if I don't get the eight hours of sleep, and I don't eat good food and hang out with my kids and watch some trashy TV on Netflix, a couple of nights a week, I'm going to be of no use to anyone who actually does need and relies on me for their like, well-being and livelihood either.

Jeremy Deighan
Yeah, definitely. I mean, you need those breaks. I always think about it in terms of working out, you know. If you worked out hard every single day, the muscle will never grow. You actually start tearing your muscles. The muscles need time to rest and build. It's in the resting phase that the muscle actually grows.

And so I always think of it that way that you need to pause, you need to step away, take a walk and not even listen to a podcast, just go take a nice nature walk with silence and just let your mind kind of wander or do something creative.

This is where, you know, as I get older and I work more, I get less away from my creative side. And that kind of bums me out because I know in that creativity is really where you find the new ideas and the new inspirations. And so I think that's awesome. I think this has been a great talk.

I had all intentions of asking you about your course, like your marketing strategies and how that all went. But I think that this topic is more important than that. I honestly believe, you know, the Online Course Igniter podcast, the Facebook group that I have, it's all centered around, you know, marketing your course getting sales to your course traffic to your course.

But if you don't have this foundation set, if you're not working on your mind, your body, and your soul, everything else is going to fall apart. So I just thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. I think this has been a great talk, and I really appreciate everything that you're doing out there.

And if people wanted to learn more about DBT and more about you, where can they find you online?

Alicia Paz
Sure. The website is onlineDBTcourses.com. It's online DBT skills. We're on all social media. I have a SoundCloud, for that matter, and a Pinterest. We're everywhere under OnlineDBTSkills, and the website is onlineDBTcourses.com.

Jeremy Deighan
Okay, perfect. I'll make sure that I put all that in the show notes. And thank you for coming on the show today and just sharing all this wonderful knowledge, and hopefully, that talked to some people out there who maybe need to step away from the computer, put the podcast down for a moment and just go relax and enjoy the rest of the day.

Alicia Paz
Yes. And thank you so much for having me, Jeremy. And to all your listeners, this is your permission. I'm a therapist. This is therapist advice.

Feel free to use me as an excuse if you need to, to take a break. Let them know I told you after this podcast, going on a walk, enjoy life, and gain some balance.

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